And now I'm left with just regrets, too late to change my ways
It seems my life has slipped away, I leave no legacy to praise
Nothing more for me to say, my life has been a waste"
Traditionally, misers are portrayed in media as grasping, penny-pinching people who live in squalor and who never spend money despite being quite wealthy. Some are businessmen, some are loan sharks, moneylenders and Morally Bankrupt Bankers, some are pawnbrokers, some are lawyers... but regardless of how they made their money, the Scrooge is sitting on a pile of it. But getting him to spend it is... difficult to say the least.
In real life, many rich people became rich in the first place by saving their money and spending only the minimum they needed to, and by only putting their money where it was guaranteed to make them more. Not all wealthy people in real life are like this, but it is worth noting that this is where the image of stereotypical misers came from. It is also worth noting that some of history's biggest misers started out wealthy.
The Scrooge is a clear embodiment of greed. Sometimes overlaps with Grumpy Old Man and is a sub-trope of Affluent Ascetic. See also Mr. Vice Guy, a trope that heroic-leaning Scrooges also qualify as, and Miser Advisor. One of these will also partake in Cutting Corners to save money. May also suffer from Loves Only Gold. Expect him to have contempt for Conspicuous Consumption, which he thinks is a stupid use of money and a great way to eventually run out of it.
Not to be confused with The Grinch, even though the namer for this trope also hated Christmas. That said, the name is often used as a distinction between someone who simply hates Christmas vs. one who actively ruins the holiday for others.
- In Maus, Vladek Spiegelman is incredibly miserly. His son wonders what people will make of a person who is advancing that particular stereotype about Jews.
- Disney Ducks Comic Universe:
- Scrooge McDuck, pictured above, is as big a skinflint as his namesake from A Christmas Carol... though that doesn't mean he's not an admirable member of the Non-Idle Rich. For bonus points, the picture is from Mickey's Christmas Carol, in which Scrooge McDuck plays Ebenezer Scrooge, so you get twice the Scrooge in one.
- Scrooge's Archenemy is Flintheart Glomgold, who's an even bigger Scrooge. (And unlike Scrooge himself, dishonest. He's willing to do any corrupt, immoral, or illegal act or any dirty trick in order to make more money.)
- Averted by Scrooge's other archenemy (mostly featured on the comics), John D. Rockerduck. While not an Evil Counterpart (he's pretty moral), his philosophy is "buying the best money can buy." This sometimes helps John and other times he goes too far.
- In Around the World in Eighty Daze, Scrooge challenges John D. Rockerduck to a race around the world, and the traveler who spends the least amount of money will win the contest. Scrooge enlists Donald's assistance, noting that he will charge Donald later for any incurred expenses. Rockerduck displays one of his most notorious performances of Dick Dastardly-style cheating, as he steals a steamship, a passenger train, a motorcycle, and an airplane, forging Scrooge's name to the bill and sticking Scrooge with the expenses. In the end, Scrooge's expenses are 2 cents shorter than Rockerduck's, and he ends up winning the trophy at his own expense; as a result of Scrooge sponsoring the race, he ends up paying the trophy's manufacturing costs.
- The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck shows that being a tightwad runs in the family. When the McDuck ancestors take a peek at Scrooge's future and learn that he'll go down in history as one of the most infamous skinflints, they celebrate. His ancestor Sir Eider McDuck lost a battle because he tried paying his entire army only 30 copper pieces for all and they deserted him. He also didn't buy his archers arrows because he felt it was too much of an expense.
- Cénile from De Cape et de Crocs. His son's servant has seen The Miser and tries the same trick — asking for gold for the life of his son, supposedly kidnapped by Turks. In the play, Harpagon did pay, with much tears. Cénile refuses.
- Mortadelo y Filemón:
- First, there is their tight-fisted boss, Vicente. If he gives them any money at all, it doesn't even come close to covering their expenses (they were once expected to travel around the globe on $10), and it often turns out to be fake.
- During their adventure in Germany, they visit Swabenland, and the Swabians they encounter manage to make Vicente look generous in comparison: They drink only when it rains, read their palms to save on a newspaper, train passengers are expected to push or pull the train themselves, and they have a stroke when asked to give something, even if it's just the time or directions.
- During the world championship soccer episode, a Scottish player refuses to kick the ball with his new shoes, and Mortadelo makes another one faint by disguising himself as a charity fund raiser.
- Condorito has Don Máximo Tacaño (his name in Spanish means Mr. Maximum Miser). All his jokes are greed-related.
- The title character of Bill Hoest's Agatha Crumm was a rare female example of this.
- In Calvin and Hobbes, Calvin's Dad likes to tease Calvin like this. Notably by suggesting they get a Christmas Tree at New Year's by picking up one sitting by the trash. Since it may still have tinsel on, they'll save money and time on decorations.
- In FoxTrot, Roger can be notoriously cheap. He tips the paperboy five cents a month (and then fails to realize why the guy never hits the front steps). He once offered to pay Peter five cents a hole for caddying at golf (resulting in Peter angrily confronting his own father with a golf club), and another time a dollar for mowing the lawn (which took six hours, because they still have a manual lawnmower).
- Manolito in Mafalda even when he's just a little boy he's already a miser.
- Frank from Luann is like this. He balks at the price of nearly everything, yet had the money to purchase an abandoned warehouse on a whim in order to start his own business. Then when a woman offered to work there for free, he still wanted to charge her rent for living in his house. On the other hand he's perfectly happy to spend others' money. When his dishwasher Les asked him to a business dinner to discuss how to expand, not only did he not offer to cover the expense as the owner/employer (which could then be written off as a business expense), he invited his entire family to the dinner and ended up spending $300 of his own employee's money.
- Top Cat: The Movie: After becoming Chief of Police, Lou Strickland fires all police officers and replaces them with robots except for Officer Dibble, who's allowed to keep his job because Dibble and Strickland share birthdays and Strickland doesn't want to pay for the party.
- Bob's Mean Boss Gilbert Huph in The Incredibles, a Corrupt Corporate Executive and Obstructive Bureaucrat who's made it his mission in life to protect the company's bottom line by denying as many insurance claims as he can, regardless of how legitimate they are as per their customers' contracts. A Freeze-Frame Bonus shows that not even his employees were spared from his profit-minded cruelty, as he planned to make them pay for their own office supplies, parking, and electricity usage. Bob did his community a favor by putting the guy in traction.
- In All the Money in the World, J. Paul Getty is the wealthiest man in the history of the world, but also infamously tightfisted. Besides refusing to pay his grandsons ransom, he also washes his clothes by hand (instead of paying for a laundering service) and makes his houseguests use a coin-operated pay phone. To make things even worse, the one time we see him sparing no expense for anything, it's to purchase a painting, a moment intercut with his grandson being tortured.
- In Trading Places, Randolph and Mortimer Duke, despite being multi-millionaires, hand out "Christmas bonuses" of $5 to their employees (total—that is $2.5 each) and make wagers that ruin other people's lives all over a stake of $1.
- Mister Potter, from It's a Wonderful Life. The Alternate Universe that is formed out of George Bailey's wish to have never been born cements what is foreshadowed from the very first second he's on screen, and that is that the man has no problem bringing endless misery to Bedford Falls for the sake of making and saving money (charging top dollar for crappy shacks that could become death traps at the drop of a hat, for example). Aside from looking sinister, it's also possible he prefers to use a carriage to move around because he thinks it's cheaper.
- Paul-Louis Courier in La Ferme des Sept Péchés, at least in the servants' memories.
- In National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, Clark Griswold's boss Mr. Shirley decides to cut back on company expenses by removing Christmas bonuses to his employees and instead giving them yearly memberships to the Jelly of the Month Club. This decision he did without warning anybody in advance, leading to Clark (and maybe other employees of the company) to become broke from their Christmas expenses, and this bombshell leads to Clark reaching his Rage-Breaking Point which leads to the film's climax when Eddie kidnaps Mr. Shirley so Clark can give him what-for. Nobody, not even Mr. Shirley's wife or the commander of the SWAT team that kicked down the Griswolds' door to rescue Shirley, are happy with what he did.
Mr. Shirley: Remember how I was toying with the notion of suspending Christmas bonuses?
Mrs. Shirley: You didn't. Of all the cheap, lousy ways to save a buck!
SWAT commander: That's pretty low, mister. If I had a rubber hose...
- Secrets In The Hot Spring: Qie's grandparents are shown to be this in the way they run the hotel. They refuse to hire help because they would have to pay them, they filled the hotel with coin-operated devices, and they charge exorbitant prices for things that would otherwise be free, like towels and bathrobes.
- J. Jonah Jameson in the Spider-Man Trilogy directed by Sam Raimi - he is an enormous miser, even as the editor-in-chief of the Daily Bugle, seeking to cut on costs in any way imaginable, from paychecks to organizing his own son's wedding.
- A joke: Marvin prays to God one evening and says "God, I have never asked you for anything before tonight, but please may I win this week's $10 million jackpot lottery?" He hears nothing, and the week comes and goes without him winning. So he prays again; "God, I prayed to you humbly, but my prayer was unanswered. Please, Lord, I have never asked for anything before. So if you are truly just and merciful, please may I win this week's $20 million jackpot lottery?" But once again the lottery comes and goes, and once again Marvin does not win. So he tries praying once more: "Lord, I beg of you. I have never asked for anything before! Please, I pray, one last time, while I still have faith: may I win this week's $30 million lottery jackpot?" But once again, the lottery comes and goes and Marvin does not win. Infuriated, he goes to the tallest peak he can find and screams at the heavens: "Damn you, God! What have I done for you to reject me so? Why do you ignore and mock my pleas?" At which point, the heavens open, a beam of light settles on Marvin, and a divine voice rings out:
MARVIN. MEET ME HALFWAY. BUY A TICKET.
- Ebenezer Scrooge from A Christmas Carol is the Trope Namer. In addition to being a tight-fisted miser, he's a cold-hearted, selfish man, who despises anything that engenders happiness. One telling of the story literally has him take the coins off the deceased Marley's eyes. It takes three ghosts to do it (four if you count Marley), but he gets better. An Unbuilt Trope: he's honest despite his ruthlessness, and it's taken a lot of suffering to make him what he is.
- In Wolf's Brother by Megan Lindholm, the wedding gifts from the richer members of the tribe were far less generous than the poorer members.
- David Sedaris' essay The Great Leap Forward details his working as a personal assistant for an eccentric, wealthy heiress who had a small publishing company. Though loaded, she acted like money embarrassed her and would haggle and be stingy as though she had nothing.
- The titular character from George Eliot's Silas Marner is an unpleasant, misanthropic skinflint at the beginning of the story. Like Ebenezer Scrooge, he gets better.
- Plyushkin in Dead Souls. He owns several hundred souls, but lives as cheap as a beggar. Chichikov, the protagonist, also doesn't like giving away money.
- Séraphin Poudrier from the French-Canadian novel Un homme et son péchénote and its many adaptations in other media. His name is the Québécois equivalent of Scrooge or Harpagon, though it is normally used as an adjective rather than a noun ("être séraphin" = to be avaricious).
- Henry VIII in Wolf Hall spends a lot on his wars, but he can be much stingier with the women in his life. When his first wife Katherine passes, he tells them to bury her in Peterborough rather than St. Paul's because it will be cheaper and reclaims her fur and plate. And while courting Jane Seymour, he gives her a prayerbook with the letters "H" and "A" on the cover. Cromwell tries to make excuses and says it can be redone, but he also notices that you can still see traces of the K under that—Henry has used the same gift for three different women.
- Discworld dwarfs can be like this. If a highwayman says to a group of dwarfs "Your money or your life!" he'd better bring a book to read while they discuss it.
- In Wylder's Hand, the lawyer Josiah Larkin lives comfortably enough at home. But when he's undertaking work on a client's behalf, he lives with the utmost frugality — while charging the client top rates for lodgings, food, transport and so on, and pocketing the difference.
- Ok's mom in I'm Ok (2018) is all about saving money. Be it by stuffing her pockets with condiments and napkins from McDonald's or by flushing the toilet only once a week.
- Widow Mac'Miche from A Good Little Devil by Sophie Rostopchine, Countess of Ségur. Although very wealthy, she is obsessed with not spending money and even keeps her nephew's inheritance from him, leaving him undernourished and in rags. Even when she is sick and delirious later in the story, she grows suspicious when Charles offers her a glass of water with sugar mixed in, asking him where he got the sugar because she doesn't want to pay for it.
- The Faerie Queene: A member of Lucifera's court named Auarice is a childless old man who carries overflowing sacks of silver and gold at his side. Despite this, his clothes are frayed, he's starving, and its clear he isn't even spending money on his health, since he so refuses to give up a single coin when he could hoard it.
- Jaine Austen Mysteries:
- Manny Kaminsky from Death of a Bachelorette feeds the crew and cast cheap airline food, while he gets damn good food for himself.
- Ironically for a man who played Tiny Tim as a child, Scotty Parker from Death of a Neighborhood Scrooge was a very cheap man.
- Mr. Mean in Mr. Men, who lives in a squalid house, eats very meagre meals, and spends every evening counting his money in a big box in the kitchen.
- The fictionalized Larry David in Curb Your Enthusiasm seems to be made of this trope. Like Jack Benny, the real Larry David isn't like this at all.
- Milburn Drysdale, from The Beverly Hillbillies became more and more miserly as the series progressed. This was Played for Laughs, of course.
- Another comedy example is Fred Mertz from I Love Lucy.
- Paulie Walnuts from The Sopranos fits this trope to a T. This is not his only personality quirk, it should be noted.
- Ben Weaver, from The Andy Griffith Show, though he's actually a Jerk with a Heart of Gold when he sees the consequences of his actions.
- Homer Bedloe, from Petticoat Junction.
- The Merchant Banker in Monty Python's Flying Circus.
- Rimmer in Red Dwarf has twenty-five thousand dollarpounds (in cash!), but borrowed $£15 from Lister to buy Lister's own birthday present. And then gave him a $£5 booktoken. And never paid him back.
- The main character of the Alfred Hitchcock Presents episode "Cheap is Cheap" is a penny-pinching miser who reads other people's newspapers. In reality, he had quite a bit of money saved up.
- Kazran Sardick, in a Doctor Who Christmas special. The whole episode is basically an Affectionate Parody of A Christmas Carol.
- Matlock is a cheapskate. At first, it was out of necessity after some bad investments but, by the time he became wealthy again, he remained thrifty.
- It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia: Frank Reynolds is incredibly wealthy (having obtained it through multiple unscrupulous means,) but instead chooses to live in squalor with his possible son/bar janitor Charlie, only ever spending money on schemes that will make him more money or to spite someone he dislikes. This is lampshaded in the Christmas Special when his children try to show him how horrible of a person he is (so that he will actually give them gifts) by tracking down his former business partner to portray the Ghosts of Christmas.
- Averted, by of all people, Jack Benny from The Jack Benny Program. Jack may be cheap, but he buys Christmas presents for his employees, and lives in quite a nice house. In a New Years episode, he is shown in top hat and tails about to take his date out on the town!
- Alan on Two and a Half Men. Usually he is just portrayed as being broke from his divorce and bad at making financial decisions, but a couple of episodes have shown that he does actually have quite a bit of money saved up, he'd rather just mooch off Charlie.
- Brazilian sitcom Sai de Baixo had Pereira, who at times would faint only at the mention of spending money. He would hardly hire anyone other than his Professional Butt-Kisser, gave the same wedding ring to all his wives, would offer dinners from food offerings and flower bouquets taken from graveyards...
- The actor who played Pereira had also played another scrooge in the The '80s: Nonô Correia, from the soap Amor com Amor se Paga ("Love pays love", in a rough translation). He controlled food (locking the fridge and forbidding his guests to help themselves more than once per meal) and electricity (keeping lights off some days a week). For some years, his name become a Brazilian synonym for scrooge/penny-pincher people. The character had some Hidden Depths, however, including a tragic past.
- A third outstanding Brazilian case was Count Klaus from Chocolate Com Pimenta, whose cheapskate tendencies were one of the many things that displeased the woman who was forced to marry him. For bonus points, his Leitmotif had cash register sounds!
- Subverted in The Big Bang Theory. Sheldon Cooper is anal and obsessive about every aspect of his life, except money. He makes more than enough to pay for food, shelter and whatever geeky trinket catches his eye, and beyond that he really doesn't care, to the point he doesn't even cash his paychecks, and will hand hundreds of dollars over to his friends without a second thought.
- Cheers: Norm Peterson is a much more cheerful example, but an example none the less. He is almost never shown paying for drinks at Cheers, and its implied he only stays there because they allow him a tab. The fact is, hes outright BANNED from several bars in Boston for not paying (in one episode, he walks in a bar and the owner point blank yells "GET OUT, PETERSON!"). Paul, a recurring character actually says of him "Norm Peterson has a tab the size of his pants." His tab is so large its joked that if he ever got around to paying it, Cheers would be the wealthiest bar in Boston. Jokes aside, his Scrooge tendencies are so bad at one point even SAM loses his patience with Norm when Norm comes into money.
- Kenan & Kel: Roger Rockmore (Kenan's father) hates spending money and often cuts corners, specifically shown in the Made-for-TV Movie.
Kel: (to Kenan) Your dad's just too cheap to buy a room.
- In The Millionaire, each episode features somebody anonymously receiving a check for one million dollars from an Eccentric Millionaire. One of the recipients, Quentin Harwood, was excessively frugal before he had a million dollars, and continues to be so even when he's wealthy, causing friction with his wife.
- Jack Benny used this trope for comedic effect on his radio show (and later, his television show) to the point that his fans came to assume he was a miser in real life. On the contrary, he was actually a kind, generous, and very giving man.
Robber: Your money or your life.
Robber: I said, your money or your life!
Jack Benny: I'm Thinking It Over!!
- It's probably worth noting that before Benny, most jokes about misers and skinflints were about Scotsmen or Jews. Afterwards, they were mostly about Jack Benny.
- Euclion in Plaute's Aulularia, making it Older Than Feudalism.
- Shylock, from William Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice, is one of the best (or worst, depending) examples of the "traditional incarnations" of this trope.
- Christopher Marlowe's The Jew of Malta even more so.
- Harpagon, the main character in L'Avare (The Miser) by Molière (to the extent that "un harpagon" is practically synonymous with "un avare", i.e. "a miser.", in the French language)
- Rudolph, the titular character of Gilbert and Sullivan's The Grand Duke is a master of thrift; along with his love interest, Caroline. His opening "I Am" Song is even based entirely around this theme.
- Marcus Kincaid of Borderlands. Would rather shoot you than give you a refund, and in Borderlands 2, he gives the wrong change to a customer and sends you on a mission to get the excess change back. How much change? Nine dollars. (and this is for a sale where he conned the guy out of two million dollars!) He pays you tons of money to get his nine dollars back, but that's business. He also sends you on a mission to reclaim refund checks he wrote while drunk before they're sent.
This is Gameplay and Story Integration: towards the end of the second game, you can go around and speak to many of the other characters before facing Handsome Jack. Each will encourage you, and give you a useful item to aid you. This includes Marcus, who doesn't just want you to win because Jack is bad for his business, but because he's a "greedy murdering sonofabitch who needs to die screaming". He then gives you an assault rifle... several levels lower in power than what everyone else gives you.
- In Diablo III Reaper of Souls one of the locations in Westmarch is the Miser's Hovel. The titular miser died there and left a note for any relatives telling them he'd rather see them dead than inherit any of his money, so he booby-trapped three chests with only one containing his fortune. His corpse is notable for spawning a large amount of gold all on its own.
- Grand Theft Auto V: One of the targets of Lester's assassination missions is a tight-fisted billionaire venture capitalist of the "corporate raider" variety, who, despite planning to acquire a controlling stake in a major automotive company, takes the same bus to and from work everyday. When you impersonate the driver to get close to him, he balks when he thinks the fares have been raised to $1.50 and steals a pedestrians bicycle instead.
- Wario of Super Mario is this trope in spades. For starters, he refuses to pay any of his employees in the WarioWare series, and most of his adventures in the Wario Land games are all motivated by greed and profit. He also refuses to let anyone touch his treasure. In fact, one could say that he'd make the Trope Namer himself look charitable by comparison.
- In Terraria, once you've reached Hardmode you can get the Tax Collector NPC which will collect coins from other NPCs. Aside from his personality and demeanor, you get the NPC by throwing Purification Powder at a Tortured Soul enemy in the Underworld (the soul even has chains to complete the Jacob Marley Apparel look). He's not entirely greedy, though, considering he'll (begrudgingly) give the coins he's collected to you.
- In Fate/stay night and its assorted spin-offs, Rin Tohsaka is quite wealthy, owning a large Western-style house filled with ornate furniture in the midst of a crowded Japanese city. Aside from the fortune she inherited from her father, the Tohsaka family also owns a number of magical patents that bring in tens of millions of yen per year. Despite all this, Rin is often portrayed as a penny-pincher, always going for the cheapest option available, even occasionally working part-time jobs for extra cash even though she really has no need for it. Part of this is justified by her family's particular brand of magic requiring the use of large jewels as catalysts, which are, of course, expensive, but she's rarely portrayed as being under genuine financial duress even with this taken into account.
- MoniRobo: Itetsu hates wasting money and puts half of his paycheck into savings. He took it too far when his wife Hanayo got pregnant and cut her food expenses from 30,000 yen even after the baby is born. His mother forced him to live on 10,000 yen but he struggled living with the amount of money and quit. He apologized to his wife and he increased the budget to 70,000 yen.
- According to her actress, The Nostalgia Chick is too cheap and miserly to give anyone money. She's also notable for being The Grinch as well.
- Gaea from Noob gets lots of money and precious items from her Manipulative Bastard activities, doesn't contribute to her guild's common fund and acts as if she were in Perpetual Poverty, including using the guild's fund for her own expenses.
- In many of the GoAnimate videos using the Scooby-Doo characters, Fred Jones is made out to be this as he absolutely hates spending money for anything and tries to handle various repairs on his own. Sometimes he ends up acting like a hypocrite as he'll tell someone "no" on doing something, but turn around and do it himself, but in his defense, virtually everything done is done because the rest of the gang would happily break him financially - Daphne would happily buy any and everything she can find while Shaggy and Scooby would happily eat restaurants out of business if they got a hold of the money.
- Obviously Scrooge McDuck in DuckTales (1987). His rival Flintheart Glomgold is even worse.
- In the reboot, Scrooge's Board of Directors are a group of buzzards hired because they're even more pennypinching than Scrooge himself. Their collective Establishing Character Moment is complaining about Scrooge's "waste" of a few thousand dollars (which, comparatively speaking, are pocket change) on a cushion for his #1 Dime. Then it's revealed they are F.O.W.L. High Command, which puts a darker spin on their greed; they don't want Scrooge spending money because it's less money for them to use in their schemes to steal even more money.
- Gravity Falls: Grunkle Stan is shown to be like this. Although he is greedy because he wants to bring his brother back from Another Dimension and needs money to survive in the meantime.
- The Raccoons: The cruel greedy aardvark Cyril Sneer lives to embody this trope, although he mellowed a little as the show progressed.
- The Real Ghostbusters:
- The villain in the episode "You Can't Take It With You" is a miserly old billionaire who had built a device that would send his wealth to the afterlife, in effect, allowing him to take it with him. ("I didn't spend my whole life becoming rich just to leave it all to charity!" he rants.) Naturally, he doesn't give a damn about the adverse effects the device will have on the environment; and this isn't a case of a villain just not knowing it's dangerous either, he made sure that he was well protected. When the machine causes an endless mob of ghosts to spill out and Egon discovers that it will cause The End of the World as We Know It, the heroes are forced to confront him and fool him into taking himself out.
- "X-Mas Marks the Spot" has the Ghostbusters accidentally time travel back to Victorian England and meet the real Ebenezer Scrooge. When Peter tries to bill him for busting the Christmas ghosts, Scrooge balks. He gets out of it by using the lines he tried to pull on Jacob Marley, basically saying he doesn't owe the Ghostbusters anything because he hallucinated the ghosts.
- The Simpsons: Charles Montgomery Burns is the very definition of this trope.
Mr. Burns: Anybody have change for a button?
- Also Marge, Depending on the Writer. Oftentimes the fact Homer is an uninsurable Walking Disaster Area and money-wasting jerk is brought up (and even then the rest of the family make a point to mention that she's taking it way too far), but on many episodes the reason she tries to save is out of pure jerkassery of her own, risking things like multi-thousand-dollar car repairs or life and limb for the sake of saving so much as a dime.
- SpongeBob SquarePants: Eugene Krabs is a miser with a heart of... well, not gold, but certainly bronze... possibly tin. Or some other metal common enough to make pawning it off not quite worth the effort. Two early examples of this are the episodes "Squid on Strike" and "Born Again Krabs". In the former, Squidward goes on strike when Mr. Krabs starts charging him and SpongeBob for things such as existing. In the latter, a near-death experience leads Mr. Krabs to try and change his greedy ways, but the fact that he's losing money freaks him out so badly that he forces a man watching TV to unwatch it. In the episode "SpongeBob, You're Fired", he decides SpongeBob is redundant and lets him go... to save five cents on his budget (and when Krabs' attempt at stepping into SpongeBob's shoes is a complete disaster and nearly forces him to close the restaurant, he re-hires SpongeBob... but installs a coin-operated lock on the employees' bathroom so he and Squidward now need to pay five cents every time they need to go).
- Ruel Stroud of Wakfu. Despite his hoards of gold, he's reluctant to part with a single kama.
- Woody Woodpecker had an uncle named Scrooge like this, although while clearly a miserly old curmudgeon, he was presented somewhat contradictory. To emphasize he was a miser, he reused sugar cubes, and clubbed his hapless butler for wasting them, but on the other hand, he seemed to spend a lot more on home security than even the typical Scrooge, having a moat full of alligators to keep annoying relatives away. (His poor butler had to rescue him from said moat several times in his efforts to keep Woody out, to the point where he went nuts and quit before throwing himself to them.)
- Hetty Green, thought to have been the richest woman in the world at the time of her death in 1916, and the first woman to make a substantial impact on Wall Street, is considered to be one of the biggest misers in history. Despite being worth over $200 million (that's $4.4 billion in 2016 dollars), she refused to heat her home because she hated to "waste money on frivolities", owned only one dress at a time (and only replaced it when it wore out beyond the ability to sew back together), and lived in pain most of her life because she refused to spend $150 on a hernia operation. She lived almost exclusively on cold oatmeal, being too thrifty to heat it. When her son Ned broke his leg as a child, Mrs. Green tried to have him admitted to a free clinic for the poor. Mythic accounts have her storming away after being recognized; her biographer Charles Slack says that she paid her bill and took her son to other doctors. His leg did not heal properly and, after years of treatment, it had to be amputated.
- Billionaire industrialist Andrew Carnegie is rightly viewed as a philanthropist, having set up many charitable institutions in his lifetime. In his personal life, though, Carnegie was the very epitome of this trope. His clothing, food, and furnishings were always the least expensive he could find, he had a habit of giving single dimes as tips to railroad porters and waiters, and followed a policy of never giving gifts.
- It has often been commented upon by people who work for the various charitable institutions that the less affluent tend to give more (based on a percentage of income) than the wealthy.
- Door-to-door charity collectors call some wealthy neighborhoods "Steep-And-Cheaps" because the rich love to live in hilly areas. Donations tend to be very sparse in such neighborhoods.
- The same goes for streets full of big money law firms.
- Harold Ballard, the majority owner of the Toronto Maple Leafs from 1971 to his death in 1990, was a notorious cheapskate.
- He used the team's Stanley Cup banners to catch paint drippings
- To make room for more seats, he removed a large portrait of Queen Elizabeth II, saying "She doesn't pay me, I pay her. Besides, what the hell position can a queen play?"
- Many of his players (including all-time greats Dave Keon and Paul Henderson) defected to the competing World Hockey Association because he wouldn't match contracts.
- To make room for luxury suites at Maple Leaf Gardens, he had the legendary broadcaster Foster Hewitt's media gondola incinerated.
- Ballard booked the Beatles on each of their three North American tours from 19641966. On the second tour, in 1965, Ballard sold tickets for two shows, even though the agreement had been for only one. On the hot summer day of one of the concerts, Ballard ordered the building's heat turned up, shut off the water fountains, and also delayed both of the concerts for over an hour. The only available refreshments were large soft drinks from the concession stands, for which he tripled the price.
- When the roof at Maple Leaf Gardens fell into disrepair, Ballard simply covered it with plastic rather than fix it.
- By the mid-1980s, the Leafs were horrible, as Ballard only employed three full-time scouts and ran a bare-bones operation. Players were drafted by Canadianness and rushed to the NHL to sink or swim. Ballard didn't care - every game was still a sellout, so why should he ice a better team?
- Marge Schott, who owned the Cincinnati Reds from 1984-1999, had a notorious list of miserly decisions:
- After Eric Davis helped the Cincinnati Reds win the 1990 World Series, she made him pay for his own travel expenses on a return trip from Oakland to Cincinnati. She was also criticized for not spending more money to acquire additional talent that would have made the Reds into playoff contenders.
- In 1995, she told her staff that she couldn't afford Christmas bonuses and gave out "candy"... which turned out to be bubble gum samples from a baseball card company, with expired tickets to the 1991 Grammy Awards which had already occurred 4 years earlier.
- After umpire John McSherry died of a heart attack on Opening Day of the 1996 MLB season, she took a bouquet of flowers she received, wrote a sympathy note, and sent the second-hand bouquet to McSherry's funeral, which didn't please the umpires one bit.note
- Generally, her racist attitudes and derogatory comments towards blacks, Jews, homosexuals and other minority groups haven't improved her public reputation at all.
- In 2000, Daniel Snyder, owner of the NFL's Washington Commanders (formerly the Washington Redskins and later the Washington Football Team), charged fans $10 to attend the team's training camp and another $10 for parking spaces. In addition, he has also overpaid to acquire aging veteran players with fading talent.
- Oil baron H.L. Hunt was at one time the wealthiest man in Dallas, but he drove a twenty-year-old Ford and bought lunch every day at a nickel taco stand.
- John D. Rockefeller, founder of Standard Oil, once gave a groundskeeper a $5 Christmas bonus, only to dock it from the next paycheck when the groundskeeper took a Christmas holiday to spend time with his family.
- John Roebling is the engineer who designed the Brooklyn Bridge. Once, while he was away on business, his wife wrote him to tell him that she had given birth to a daughter, and he wrote her back to chide her for wasting perfectly good ink on such trivial nonsense. When his foot was mangled in an industrial accident and his toes had to be amputated, he went through the surgery without anesthesia because he thought it would cost too much. Roebling refused to let the doctors bandage his foot (bandages being too expensive) and instead kept it submerged in a bucket of water, which lead to him contracting tetanus and dying a week later. After he died, the reading of his will revealed that he had calculated how much money he had spent raising each of his children and he had docked their inheritance accordingly.
- Ikea founder Ingvar Kamprad was well known for driving a 20+ year old car, stealing ketchup, salt and pepper packets, and plastic cutlery from fast food restaurants for use in his home, reusing tea bags, buying all his clothes at thrift stores, and driving a succession of cheap used cars that he wouldn't bother repairing when they broke down (replacing them being less expensive than repairing them). In order to get to the grand opening of Ikea's Russian facilities, Kamprad took a series of buses rather than simply fly because it was cheaper. Kamprad was worth 57.8 billion at the time of his death.
- Supermodel Tyra Banks admits that she's a bit of a miser, and says that it comes from living in poverty before she was discovered and started modeling. Despite having a personal fortune of upwards of $100 million, she says that she has a hard time spending money beyond what her agents and handlers want her to spend to maintain her image (mostly on her clothes, cosmetics, and living arrangements while she's traveling), and has been known to strip hotel rooms of every complimentary item she can just so she doesn't have to spend money for those items on her own.
- According to several friends and even his daughter Stella, Paul McCartney is the worst sort of cheapskate despite having a net worth of over $1.2 billion. Apparently, he once threw a birthday party for his late wife, Linda, and charged the guests for drinks. Also, he told his children that he would only pay for their college education if they went to the cheapest schools they could find.
- Jean Paul Getty, despite being an oil tycoon worth $1.3 billion (in 1966, now equivalent to $8.7 billion), was famous for installing payphones in his mansion to discourage the staff (and his family) from using the line. He was also known for an incident where he berated his wife for treating their son's terminal brain tumor—as he considered that a waste of cash. Later, when Italian kidnappers took his grandson hostage, he managed to top himself by literally haggling the ransom down from $17 million to $3 million, standing firm even when the kidnappers cut off and mailed one of his grandson's ears to him. And then he still only paid $2.2 million because that was the maximum tax-deductible amount (and required his son to re-pay him for the expenses, with interest). The grandson was safely returned: when faced with such a cold-hearted bastard, the kidnappers wisely decided to quit while still ahead.
- André Masséna grew up in poverty, and while he adopted a rather lavish lifestyle befitting a Marshal and Duke of the French First Empire, he could prove extremely reluctant to spend his immense wealth. Marcellin Marbot, who was his aide de camp for some time, had a famous story to illustrate this: before the battle of Wagram, Masséna fell from his horse and was so badly injured that he could no longer ride and decided to survey the fighting from an open carriage instead. His coachman did not even flinch as he drove the dazzling carriage into the battlefield, and after the battle, Masséna's aides began suggesting that he give the man a pension. Masséna pretended to misunderstand, announcing that he would give the man a (small) one-time reward; when the aides insisted, he shouted that he would rather see them all dead and have a bullet in his arm than give anyone a pension. Eventually, though, he had to change his mind after Napoleon intervened. note
- Ike Perlmutter, CEO of Marvel Entertainment is infamous for stinginess; he refuses to buy office supplies or even replace worn-out furniture. During one press event promoting The Avengers (2012), Marvel ran out of food because Perlmutter was that cheap. While he still had a say in the movies, he pushed Terrence Howard out of the franchise simply because Perlmutter didn't want to pay him his contractually-obligated $8 million salary. His stinginess eventually backfired on him when the Marvel movies became extremely popular and the actors and production team got fed up with their paltry paychecks — Perlmutter tried to fire Robert Downey Jr. (aka Iron Man) over a pay dispute, meaning he almost didn't appear in Civil War. Disney who owns Marvel did not approve, so a corporate restructuring happened so that Kevin Feige, CEO of Marvel Studios answered directly to Disney instead of Perlmutter.
- John Elwes, an 18th-century MP, may have been an inspiration for old Ebenezer himself. Like some of the above, he allegedly lived so frugally that he could've been mistaken for a common beggar on the street, and in his later years was paranoid to the point of absurdity that he would be robbed. Regardless, he was not considered especially selfish or unkind, and was apparently, if anything, unduly generous to friends; he lost considerable sums in unpaid loans and debts, in addition to some failed investments.
- Actor Fred MacMurray was legendary in 1940s Hollywood for being a tightwad. Despite being worth millions of dollars at the time, he always brown-bagged his lunch rather than spending money at the commissary, used the bus because ultimately it was cheaper than owning a car, and would regularly mooch off of everyone he possibly could. Clark Gable specifically told a story about going on a hunting trip with MacMurray and others. All the hunters but MacMurray packed food for the trip; MacMurray instead ate the food scraps left behind by the others.
- Benny Hill was one of the richest men in showbusiness, yet he continued with the frugal habits that he picked up from his parents, notably his father, such as buying cheap food at supermarkets, walking for miles rather than paying for a taxi unless someone picked up the tab for a limousine, and constantly patching and mending the same clothes even when the balance on his account at the Halifax Building Society reached seven figures. Foreign travel was the only luxury that he permitted himself, and even then, he would stay in modest accommodations rather than five-star hotels. He also never owned a car, although he could drive. According to one of his obituaries, he once refused to repair the leaky roof in his mother's home because it was "too expensive".
- According to Roger Moore, Tony Curtis was "very careful" with his money, to the extent that you'd think that his pockets had been sewn shut.
- At one Christmas dinner, he served the tiniest roast chicken that was meant to serve not only them and their wives, but his entire household staff.
- At the end of filming The Persuaders!, he was offered to keep his costumes. He took them and then held a sale for the crew to buy them back.
- As a parting gift to producer Johnny Goodman, he got the cheapest bottle of sherry from his local supermarket. He even signed it - "Dear Johnny - Best Wishes. Love Tony".
- One particularly skinflint cheapskate was Daniel Dancer, a man so in love with money and so loathe to spend it that in spite of having thousands of pounds of currency on-hand in his house, he wore the rags of shirts (buying precisely one new shirt a year and wearing it until it fell apart) and would regularly eat boiled bread dumplings every meal of the day (cold, as he would not bother reheating them). More lurid details availale here from Sam O'Nella Academy.